Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes
It’s not often I talk about ballet on this blog, not because I don’t think it’s interesting but because it just seems like it’d be so random compared to everything else I’ve ever written. Like I always want to relate it to my writing life somehow, but I want to be able to write about ballet just for the sake of ballet.
As you all know, I am an adult ballet dancer who has done ballet for two years and been en pointe for one year. During those two years I have progressed through five levels and am currently in level six, or what is known as the Juniors level at my dance school.
Today started the summer intensives. I did summer intensive last year at another dance school because it was closer and required less gas, but this year I’m doing it at my home school because, well, I frankly love the school better than the other one.
I’ve been away from ballet for a month, and my poor legs are feeling it. My right knee aches for some unknown reason, and the tendon in my hip feels like it’s caught on something, but I don’t think it is. I would have been able to get away with not exercising for a month if I were doing level 5, but not level 6. I seriously wish I would have just walked the darned treadmill so my leg muscles could stay used to getting worked.
But juniors was both a challenge and an excitement for me. Compared to when I tried Juniors last summer, I have improved. Barre was just dandy, but I screwed up some in the center, which doesn’t bother me. After all, if I were perfect, I wouldn’t be in class. I’d be off dancing in some glitzy company. But I felt comfortable screwing up because the teacher is Mrs. Renee Toole, and she is a peach. She introduced herself to me and everything because I was the only face she had never seen before (I never had a chance to take a class with her because I usually work on Saturdays).
I know I need to work on spacing in the center because there are two girls in the class I dance with that I danced with in Level 5, and we were crammed on one another as we did our turns and jumps. I also need to work on honing my brain in on the exercises 100% because going from simple across-the-floor movements, like pique, jete entournant, to pique, jete entournant, tombe pas de bourre, pirouette, ect… is a heck of a difference and requires that my brain be very awake so I can soak in the exercise. But ballet class was so much fun and I look forward to Wednesday and Thursday. No longer am I afraid of the higher levels as I was last year.
Pointe class was a different story. During the summer, there is beginning pointe, pointe 1, and pointe 2. I thought pointe 2 was supposed to be my main class, but when she put a fouette turn in the middle en pointe, I realized pointe 2 is my challenge class and pointe 1 is my main class. I can do pirouttes en pointe and MIGHT get lucky to pull off an outward fouette en pointe, but I am certainly not ready for fouettes period en pointe, unless they are at the barre. But even though it was still challenging, I received the benefits of a good exercise and it will help me maintain my strength for pointe work.
But ballet is just plain fun for me, and I look forward to the rest of the summer. I will blog about any milestones I come across.